Stories of Change
"To others like me, going through the similar experience, take heart. Have no fear. Live your life on your terms. Dont be afraid to come out and meet with other people who are like you.''
'"Women, especially queer woman, need to stop being so hard on themselves and other women. Your loving men, women or nobody is no one's business so dont let other people hurt you or make you feel bad because of how god made you!
The role plays were incredibly helpful and sometimes quite moving. The reflection on those who gave me positive and negative messages was useful. I realised what an intensely private person I am and that I need to let in more people to my support base"
" The workshop helped my personal development, giving me a different perception of my sexual orientation, to win over fears , overcome barriers , have goals to fulfil in life- be it in the personal sphere or the professional, with certainty that what i do will be the best every day with this learning.''
" I have had to deal with some of my personal issues through the workshop this week. I have had to learn to forgive and forget the past. I would love to run this workshop- it is 10 times the best activity to provide psycho-social support!"
" LILO identity was a personal, but quite gentle experience. It changed my life. LILO voice is like a kick up the butt. I want to get out there ".
" For so long I didn't realize I have power over things I can do. I evaluated myself , my interest, the way forward, the obstacles and how to move forward".
" I am left with understanding the power that we have as people and the choices. Sometimes I might choose NOT to influence-not because i didn't have power. Sometimes its not about not having power but about choosing to NOT use it"
" The workshop has been great , very transformative. The material and process is beyond educating or informing.... it is transforming."
" A deep introspection into the subjects of attitudes , prejudice, heterosexual privilege and LGBT+ has shaped this (my) attitudinal change".
" I was reminded [The] value [of] a human being as a human because my humanness is not different from their humanity, regardless of their humanity, regardless of their sexual identity/gender orientations or profession".
" Sex Workers are men and women who come from diverse backgrounds and most of them are in this trade to enable them to sustain their families, which makes them an important part of our society."
" This week, the workshop came as empowerment. It was therapeutic. I understood self-awareness and self-acceptance on another level."
Meaningful research processes contribute to building a stronger evidence base for programming and advocacy. To that end, PV partnered with the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) in 2017 to deliver a Learning From Innovation (LFI) project to learn from the implementation of LILO in Uganda, drawing secondary data from neighbouring Tanzania.
The work of the KP REACH programme’s citizen journalist initiative, ‘Key Correspondents’ (KCs), demonstrates Positive Vibes’ (PV) Looking In, Looking Out (LILO) methodology and capacity development approaches in terms of catalysing change at the personal level and the transformative process that follows, in this case, through storytelling—of the KC’s own stories and those of others—as well as providing useful skills and tools to be successful KCs.
Positive Vibes (PV) works with LGBT+ and sex worker organisations and coalitions to influence programming and engage in effective advocacy at multiple levels. Mechanisms such as REAct: Rights, Evidence, Action—a community-based human rights monitoring tool—support this goal by helping improve data collection to build a strong evidence base of human rights violations, which in turn, better inform local, national and regional programming interventions and advocacy initiatives.
KP REACH has been working with trans advocacy organisation, Gender Dynamix (GDX), to strengthen the Southern Africa Trans Forum (SATF) towards the programme goal of the four regional KP networks being better able to work strategically and efficiently together and with others to contribute to the effective development, monitoring and reporting of HIV prevention, testing and treatment services, programmes and policies for KPs at regional and national levels by 2018.
Only moments before meeting our small two-person team, Eunice* became hesitant. Although we had made an appointment with her, she had some nervousness and uncertainty; understandable considering she had never met us before. But, she trusted her local contact who had brokered this conversation between us and, after a short conversation with him, she felt persuaded to meet.
PV’s organisational strategy works toward strengthening systems for health and influencing programmes and advocacy initiatives through its particular approach to its work, its strategic partnerships and by using the LILO curricula. Meaningful research processes contribute to building a stronger evidence base for programming and advocacy for better health systems. To that end, in 2017, the Namibian team undertook a mixed methods study, ‘Together Tomorrow’, funded by the Human Sciences Research Council exploring the HIV prevention needs of male-male couples in South Africa and Namibia.